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AG releases hiring tips for homeowners

Following action cracking down on unscrupulous home improvement contractors, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has issued tips to protect New Yorkers from unlawful contracting practices as the summer season begins.

While in Plattsburgh on Saturday, Schneiderman announced the results of an investigation into 47 contractors for committing widespread violations of the law, including failure to provide written contracts or honor the most basic terms of the consumers’ work agreements.

Article 36-A of the General Business Law requires that every home improvement contractor, before beginning work, provide the consumer with a written contract, signed by both parties, which sets out certain specific information and disclosures.

Roughly seven out of 10 times, even with a contract, the attorney general’s office has no address for the business or full name of the contractor, which makes locating them difficult.

“One very simple tip that consumers can follow when hiring a contractor is to write down the license plate number of the contractor. That will give authorities a better way of tracking the individual down should something go wrong,” added Attorney General Schneiderman.

More on the law and prevention tips may be found on the attorney general’s website (, as well as a video of his remarks.